Where does staying active fit into your daily list of priorities? For most busy gals, it probably fits somewhere after going to work, catching up on your side hustle, picking kids up from daycare, cooking dinner and a million other things. Sound familiar?
At this point, you might be feeling some measure of guilt because a) you know staying active is important for your health and b) you’re stretched across your couch after a gruelling day with an empty chip bag on your stomach.
“But Peggy, I don’t have any time to exercise!” you might protest. Well, girl, I’ve got you covered. I’ve put together 10 tips on how to work exercise into even the busiest schedules. You might hate some of these, but if you push through, your body will definitely thank you later!
Wake up early
Yes yes, I can sense the collective groan from this side of my laptop. Sometimes I hate myself for getting up at 6 a.m. too, but waking up early to go to the gym or complete a yoga session can really prepare your mind and body for taking on the day. You’ll get your metabolism pumping and your endorphins flowing, helping you to stay energized for the rest of your schedule. Remember to eat a healthy breakfast!
Take the stairs
Who needs a Stairmaster when you’ve got a set of stairs to climb IRL? Forget the smooth, painless ride you can enjoy by taking the elevator; think of how firm and perky your butt will be after taking the stairs in your building or during your commute every day.
Walk, jog, or bike to work
If you live within reasonable distance, try one of these methods to get to the office when the weather’s nice. Pro-tip: bring a change of clothes and a water bottle!
Utilize your breaks
Take your sandwich for a walk around the block or a nearby park during lunch. In addition to benefiting your physical health, research shows that walking daily also has many mental benefits such as strengthening memory, increasing blood flow to the brain, boosting creativity, and lowering the risk of depression.
Bring a resistance band to work
Up for a discreet booty workout? You can tone your glutes and thighs by doing clamshells under the desk. Or, if you’re comfortable going all out, there are a bunch of different lower body exercises you can do with a resistance band. I myself like to use these Peach bands.
Try simple desk exercises
Along those lines, there are some weightless exercises you can do at your desk. They can help you stretch any stiff muscles and get your blood flowing while you work. All you need is some arm space and self-discipline.
Swap your desk chair for an exercise ball or standing desk
A lot of us spend most of our hours sitting hunched over in front of a computer, which isn’t great for our activity levels (or our backs). See if you can swap a regular desk chair for an exercise ball; this can enable you to strengthen your core while typing or work in a few ab exercises. Standing while working can help you work your legs a little more.
(Vigorously) do your chores
Activities like vacuuming, mopping, mowing the lawn, or cleaning your bathtub at home can really make you sweat. They’re basically cardio.
- Carry your groceries instead of using a shopping cart. If you want to sneak in extra arm workout time, try carrying all your groceries to your car and/or house in one go. You’ll work those biceps, trust me.
- Purchase gym equipment to use at home. The most convenient way to squeeze in a gym workout is to bring the gym home to you. If you have the financial means, invest in a set of dumbbells or other home gym equipment. Weight lifting is an excellent addition to any health and fitness regimen, and doing it at home will definitely save you time.
Having a full work schedule makes it hard to dedicate time for exercise, but staying active is crucial for good mental and physical health. Think of it as an investment in self-care!
Which creative exercise tips are you going to try?